TEHRAN (Press Shia) – Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif hit back at US president Donald Trump over his claim that a war between their countries would be short-lived, saying, “Whoever begins war will not be the one ending it”.
In a post on his Twitter account on Thursday, Zarif enumerated Trump’s misconceptions about the Islamic Republic that “endanger peace” in the Middle East region.
“Misconceptions endanger peace @realDonaldTrump: – Sanctions aren’t alternative to war; they ARE war – “Obliteration”=genocide=war crime – “Short war” with Iran is an illusion – Whoever begins war will not be the one ending it – Negotiations and threats are mutually exclusive,” the Iranian top diplomat wrote.
The remarks came a day after Trump said he did not want a war with Iran but warned that if fighting did break out, it “wouldn’t last very long”.
The remarks came against the backdrop of increased tensions between Iran and the US after the Islamic Republic shot down an advanced US spy drone over its territorial waters.
The Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) said on June 20 that a US spy drone that violated the Iranian territorial airspace in the early hours of the day was shot down by the IRGC Aerospace Force’s air defense unit near the Kooh-e-Mobarak region in the southern province of Hormozgan.
The intruding drone was reportedly shot by Iran’s homegrown air defense missile system “Khordad-3rd”.
Later on the same day, US President Donald Trump said he had called off a retaliatory attack on a number of targets in Iran and said that he was ready to speak with Iranian leaders and come to an understanding that would allow the country to improve its economic prospects. “What I’d like to see with Iran, I’d like to see them call me.”
“I look forward to the day where we can actually help Iran. We’re not looking to hurt Iran,” Trump added.
However, on Monday Trump announced new sanctions against top Iranian officials, including the office of Ayatollah Khamenei, Iran’s foreign minister, and senior commanders of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC).